UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Elisabeth Taunton

A professional woman with a friendly smile, medium-length straight brown hair, wearing a black blazer and a striped top.

I am working as a Research Assistant with Professor Mairéad MacSweeney at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Deafness, Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL). We are currently undertaking a longitudinal study funded by the Wellcome Trust looking at the role of visual inputs – lipreading, fingerspelling, British Sign Language (BSL) – in reading development in deaf children.

I was born profoundly Deaf and developed speech and lipreading as my main methods of communication later followed by British Sign Language. I attended mainstream education and went on to achieve a 1st Class Honours BSc degree in Physiology at the University of Aberdeen followed by an MSc in Physiotherapy at King’s College London.

My career as a Physiotherapist took me all over the UK. During Covid I set up my own business in Physiotherapy and Pilates and qualified as a Lipreading Tutor with the City Lit. As a Research Assistant at UCL I wanted combine and apply my background knowledge and skills to the role. I also aim to apply research findings from past and current research in language and cognition to further work with deaf children, teenagers, and adults.

I am keen to use my lifelong experience as a deaf person to give something back to the deaf community. I want to build upon previous experience of working with Leeds Deaf Club, RNID, GB Deaf Women’s Football, UK Deaf Sport, Mary Hare School, and Reading Deaf Centre to further contribute to deaf wellbeing and education in the UK and beyond.

Email: e.taunton@ucl.ac.uk